The First Lessons

When he woke in the morning, Dagger was gone. Sarn ate a few nuts for breakfast, along with some of the stew that they had left over from the night before. He spent the rest of the morning building a small shelter and a better bed, deciding there was no sense changing his plan just because the one calling himself Silver Dagger had left.
As he worked he thought that he heard a sharp clicking noise coming from the edge of a group of trees, he spent the next several minutes looking over his shoulder trying to see if he could figure out where the noise had come from. After not seeing or hearing anything he went back to his chore.
Just inside the small group of trees two figures were trying hard to blend in among them.
“I still think that this is a bad idea, we need to tell him.”
“What can happen, if we tell him the end will be the same, things will be as they will be if we never had.”
“So, that is the reason that you are going to give our brother when he asks if we have given his son his inheritance.”
“He will not need it; he has the thief to give him all the training that he will need.”
“You agreed that if the thief was here we would wait. Besides we cannot go to him in day light, what if we are found out, we would never finish it.”
“That is not what I said,” one of the figures said shaking their head as they turned and walked away.
The two continued to argue as they disappeared deeper into the forest.
When Sarn was finished with his chore, he turned around to find that Dagger had returned with his own nuts and a deer.
“Just how long do you think we will be here,” Sarn asked Dagger when he saw him. “A few rabbits some pheasants maybe but a whole deer?”
He tried hard not to show any sign that he had just snuck up on him again. After all it would do no good to let him know that he had.
“We will be here as long as it takes,” Dagger began. “And if your lack of being able to tell when I am coming and going is any hint as to how much training you will need, then we will need many more than just this one deer as surely it will run out long before we are finished.”
Sarn laughed at the statement, although he was not sure how Dagger had meant the statement he decided instead to take it as a joke and laugh.
“It would have been easy for me to have killed you last night, again this morning in your sleep and just now and that will never do. Dagger shook his head at his laughter and turned away, making himself busy with the deer he continued. “You must be able to tell who is where at all times and if they are the one that has been sent to you by the gods as your assassin. Do they have more or less to lose than you do; is their magic more powerful than yours, can you escape if you have to, how about your weapons, are they better than his? There is so much that you need know in that first moment. If you are not able to know this in that second then you have to be able to find out before it is too late.”
Sarn lowered his head and stopped laughing almost as quickly as he had started.
“Then again,” Dagger added, “you did hide in the trees when those two soldiers came along the other day. Had they noticed you, you would not have made it this far.”
“You were following me?”
“No,” Dagger returned, “I was following them and we just happened on you.”
“Why were you following them?”
“That is of no concern now Sarn of Penif, they are,” Dagger paused as if he were looking for the right word. His knife never once stopped its work on the deer carcass. “Well, they will bother no one any longer and I have made right their wrong.”
He must have killed them, Sarn thought. That is the only way that they could ‘never bother anyone any longer’. He tossed the remainder of his building materials from his shelter aside so that they could be used as firewood as needed.
“That’s another thing I have been meaning to ask you,” he began. “How is it that you know my name?”
“Are you just going to stand around all day or are you going to help me with this,” Dagger asked suddenly. “At least make yourself useful and scrounge around to see if there is anything we can add to our meal.”
“My name,” he asked. “How did you know my name?”
“You told me your name I am sure,” Dagger replied. “It would have been impolite if you had not.”
“I do not remember telling it to you.”
“Hmmm,” Dagger added and said nothing more.
Sarn shook his head as he walked away toward the garden. He was not sure why he was so accepting of Dagger but somehow he had the feeling that he and Dagger would become very close friends. He also knew that he could not have done any better in finding someone to train him. Although he had no idea why he would need to be trained in anything more than he already was. After all he was an apprentice stone cutter, and that was all he ever felt that he would ever need.
“Just what do you plan on teaching me?” He called to Dagger from near the small garden.
“The one thing that you will need to remember,” Dagger told him.
“And what is that?”
“How to survive, to live, to not be killed, everything else is of no importance if you know how to survive.”


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